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MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:06 am
by handy
Hi all, first post. ;)

A bit of an intro here:

I've come form 10 years of pacman based distros - Arch, Manjaro, Artix (a little Void thrown in there for a bit - not enough packages plus another thing or two missing, I'm also running OpenRC on my main tower but I won't talk about that).

I love pacman, I really don't like systemd. Moved to Artix when artoo took Manjaro OpenRC there. Artix is a good distro (especially now after a little time for them to get themselves organised). The reason I left Artix is that I changed VPN providers from AirVPN to PIA, where I had to use little scripts & buttons configured on Worker (aliases would also have done the same thing) to access my selection of PIA servers via OpenVPN. Which was a bit of a pain, as it was limiting compared to being able to use the great PIA-VPN GUI.

So, shortly after moving to PIA (much faster in the southern hemisphere than AirVPN - & cheaper, also keeps no logs & doesn't track you with Faceb**k icons on their pages like many do), PIA ported/modified their GUI installation to also include Arch & another 2 or 3 distros. The problem that has pushed me away from Artix, is that Artix doesn't use the standard Arch repo naming system. This caused the wonderful PIA-GUI (which I am familiar with from using it on Win7 - Steam games only) to fail to install on Artix. :(

So I went looking for systemd free alternatives. Tried Devuan (too unstable for me due to the amount of packages from the Unstable (& testing) repo I had running). Tried Refracta OpenRC. It was better, but still gave me trouble (I may have played a part in the trouble in both of these distros, as I'm great with pacman, but its been pushing 12 years since I was using Ubuntu & Synaptic/apt-get.

Anyway, I finally got to MX 17. I installed it, then installed Openbox, Tint2, Worker, & a pile of other software that I prefer (no accounting for taste & all that... ;) ). Then (so far) I've ripped heaps of packages out of MX, as I don't need them (a heap more to go in the near future). I now have access to a number of these (MX) packages either from buttons I've configured in Worker &/or from the Openbox menu (which I configure how I like, its not one of those automatic menu setups).

Anyway, its been running MX for some days, & I have given it quite a work out (testing a large number of packages from MX & choosing if they stay or go, deleting if they go, installing new ones, configuring & testing; making Worker buttons & testing, running them with Firejail & testing & on it goes...).

At this point in time I'm REALLY happy with MX 17. It has shown me more reliability than both Devuan & Refracta (to make it worse for them, both were beta releases). MX has allowed me to customise the hell out of it (as it should) & it hasn't complained once. :D

I still have Xfce sitting back there as a boot option. I haven't decided yet whether I will remove most of it, or not. I'm thinking that I may find it to be a good idea to leave the heart of it there, plus the MX tools (especially the ones relating to creating your own USB copy of your installed system (I do like that - Manjaro has a lot of trouble with that kind of thing due to MHWD - very clever & helpful hardware tools that are at the core of Manjaro).

Also, from what I gather, MX is a kind of semi-rolling release distro, in that you can do a system upgrade once a month. I'm looking forward to learning the ins & outs of that in the future. I REALLY like that (understandably).

Anyway, my thanks go out to ALL those who have played a part in the creation of MX. It has (after a sometimes painful month with Devuan & Refracta) come to save the day for me & give me a new place to hang my hat. After ~4 years with Arch; ~6 years with Manjaro; < 6 months with Artix, it looks like I've actually found a distro to love that doesn't use the Pacman package manager. ;)

Who would'a thunk it?

[edit:] Here's a pic: (the colour is not accurate)
MX.Ob.PIA-VPN-GUI.jpg

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:21 am
by Jerry3904
Welcome, and thanks for the testimonial. Got a desktop image to show us?

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:31 am
by handy
Jerry3904 wrote:Welcome, and thanks for the testimonial. Got a desktop image to show us?
Hi Jerry, thanks. :)

Yes, I'll post some images tomorrow (or perhaps later on tonight. I'll scare all those who like beautifully themed desktops with matching icons & colour schemes, with my Worker image... ;)

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:51 am
by asqwerth
Welcome, handy!

I don't think you can really call MX semi-rolling, though. It's still based on Debian Stable, so MX17 is based on Stretch. When a new Stable (buster) is released, a new MX will be issued in due course. You could install the new release over your old install, preserving /home, but some work is still required in the reinstallation.

Alternatively you could take the risk of changing the repos yourself from Stretch to Buster when the time comes and then doing a full upgrade, and I'm sure the Devs can also help with feedback on potential problems, but that's in the future and there are no guarantees that it will go 100% smoothly.

However, what MX's packaging team does do is try to backport newer versions of requested packages to the presently supported versions of MX Linux, until it becomes impossible to do so. It is thus a fixed release distro that stays fresher longer than most other fixed releases over its lifespan of 2-5 years.

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:53 am
by Richard
Welcome Handy.
I remember reading your posts on Worker and other enlightening topics at Manjaro.

I enjoyed my couple of years of learning with Manjaro, but my systemd problems
and self-inflicted problems with OpenRC led me to MX for stability.

MX has been like a sea of tranquility for me. The Snapshot tool makes it repeatable.

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:57 am
by asqwerth
You're THE handy, aren't you? The oldtimer with the old man avatar on Manjaro forums?

:-D

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 7:22 am
by oops
Richard wrote:...MX has been like a sea of tranquility for me. The Snapshot tool makes it repeatable.
Beautiful sentence and beautiful synthesis Richard, it's poetic.

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:23 am
by handy
@Jerry3904 I went to upload screenshots & found I have to use a URL. I don't/won't have any of those accounts so we're out of luck at the moment.

@asqwerth Hi, yep, I'm the "old" handy from Manjaro (& about the place). :)

Re. the semi-rolling distro: It was the box titled Get MX Linux on the top left of this page https://mxlinux.org/support that gave me that impression?

@Richard Hi, & thanks for the welcome. Its always nice to see someone else from the "old country". ;)

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:42 am
by handy
OK, thanks to a PM from @richb I now know that once I have 5 posts or more I will be able to post images from my machine. :)

Good stuff.

Re: MX 17. Openbox, Tint2, Worker, Vivaldi, PIA-VPN GUI - :D

Posted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:31 am
by handy
Here are some screenshots (I also added one to the bottom of the OP, its colour is wrong, these did not turn out any better):
MX.Openbox.png
MX.Worker.png
MX.Vivaldi.browser.png
Please remember that this is very early days for this MX install.